Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd has seen in the past two weeks improved volumes of people visiting its properties – including the casinos – when compared to February’s Chinese New Year break, said the firm’s president Wilfred Wong Ying Wai (pictured in file photo) in comments on Tuesday to local media.
“We did see an apparent uptick in visitor flow during the past two weeks. We saw a lot more traffic at our hotels, malls, food and beverage outlets, and casinos,” said Mr Wong on the sidelines of an event.
Visitor traffic “has been particularly robust during the weekends… we saw very high occupancy in some of our hotels during the weekends,” the executive added.
Mainland China is the only place currently to have a typically quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau, and recently there has been some slight easing of the arrangements.
With effect from February 23, no mainland China visitor was automatically required to complete quarantine upon arrival in Macau, based specifically on whether the arriving visitor had been to any so-called ‘medium risk’ place on the mainland in the 14 days prior to coming to Macau.
Visitors from mainland China are still required to present a certificate showing they are negative for Covid-19 infection upon entry into Macau.
Nonetheless, since March 3, people wishing to enter Macau casino floors no longer need to show a test certificate proving they are free of Covid-19 infection.
Sands China had launched before Chinese New Year the first phase of its revamped Sands Cotai Central property, now rebranded as The Londoner Macao and given a new, London-themed facade.
Speaking to press on Tuesday, Mr Wong also noted that his firm was “supportive” of the Macau government’s planned launch of a stimulus package – from April onwards to this year-end – whereby each Macau ID holder will be subsidised to the tune of MOP200 (US$25) for a local hotel stay, on a one-time basis.
Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, separately spoke to local media on Tuesday, saying that the Macau government had “never stopped” discussing with the mainland China authorities the topic of possible easing of existing travel restrictions between the two.
“If Macau residents hope that after getting the two doses [of Covid-19 vaccine], they can head into mainland China without having to do any nucleic acid test – this has be reciprocal for mainland China people that wish to visit Macau,” said Mr Ho. He added such a scenario might not be “free of disputes”, and required further scientific analysis on the effect of the Covid-19 vaccination.
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”The [VIP and premium-mass] segments are following very different trajectories, and we would expect that to continue for the time being”
Chief operating officer of Macau casino operator Sands China